The Sound of Silence: How Surfing Keeps People Connected

Surfing is the ultimate experience that allows for a disconnect from social media, traffic, news, and all of the daily stresses that are constantly happening around the world. Out in the water, the only things that matter are you, the ocean, and those around you. It allows you to tune into the moment and escape the constant desire to be plugged in. This disconnect is what most surfers crave and cherish about the sport. As it turns out, surfing keeps people connected.

A Different Kind of Surf Film

For those who don’t surf, they learn and spectators of the art of surfing through surf films. However, almost all surf films focus primarily on the perfect waves, and the silly moments that surfers endure throughout their traveling experience, and less on the meaningful aspects of the sport. This disconnect that so many people often crave, is in essence what director of surf film, Sound of Silence, Dan Mace, intended to capture. This surf film captures surfers, Lee-Ann Curren and Bianca Buitendag, adventuring on a road trip through the Eastern Cape’s wild coast, ‘Transkei’ in search of something other than just desolate surf spots.

Dan Mace, in an interview with Magic Seaweed, suggests, “I wanted to do something different, something with meaning...I took away their mobile devices and any other connections to the outside world, gave them a map and the mission to make it through Transkei connecting with the earth beneath their feet and locals around them, and the result was beautiful."

“Fear is a funny thing. Traveling with no direction, no cell phone, it forces us to observe the landscape with a different eye.”

The film itself is told from a first person narrative point of view as the two surfers recount their experience those ten days and how it caused them to tune into the moment and experience life differently. Throughout the film, the girls reflect on their emotions like fear: “Fear is a funny thing. Traveling with no direction, no cell phone, I feel like it could take over any time. But it forces us to observe the landscape with a different eye.”

In a time where everything is instantly at our fingertips, and we are constantly plugged into our phones checking to see what everyone else is doing, we lose track of the moments happening around us. Because of this, we miss the chance to experience pivotal moments that force us to feel, to look around us, and experience the world with a more observant eye. As the girls clearly state at the end of the film, "Long live the young at heart, you know who you are, with your spirit burning; take a risk, take a chance, carry on. Long live the souls set free. Don’t be afraid to dream while the world is still turning. Every moment, make it happen; with two light feet, keep on dancing; beat by beat, breathe by breathe; walking hand in hand, step by step."

Author: Beth Clarke